MORNING AT THE ELIZABETH ARCH
The winos rise as beautiful as deer.
Look how they stagger from their sleep
as if the morning were a river
against which they contend.
This is not a sentiment
filled with the disdain
of human pity.
They turn in the mind,
beyond the human order.
One scratches his head and yawns.
Another rakes a hand
through slick mats of thinning hair.
They blink and the street litter moves
its slow, liturgical way.
A third falls back
bracing himself on an arm.
At river’s edge, the deer stand poised.
One breaks the spell of his reflection with a hoof
and, struggling, begins to cross.
—from Rattle #28, Winter 2007